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February 6 2014

Bees' Salt-Sensing Feet Explain Swimming Pool Mystery


The first-ever investigation of the honeybee ability to taste with their front feet may explain a persistent bee mystery: Why they swarm saltwater swimming pools.

Saltwater swimming pools don't require chlorine or other chemicals, but online home and garden forums are full of complaints about these swimming holes' dark side. Apparently, they attract honeybees en masse. Now, scientists find that bees have taste receptors on their feet that are so sensitive to salt, that they even dwarf the bees' capacity to taste sweets.

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